Kenwyne Jones signs new Sunderland contract

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The Independent Football

Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones has ended speculation over his future by signing a new four-and-a-half-year deal at the Stadium of Light.

The 24-year-old Trinidad and Tobago international put pen to paper after Tottenham were told once and for all that he was not for sale.

Jones' decision to extend his stay on Wearside until the summer of 2013 was announced this morning.

Manager Ricky Sbragia told the club's website, "I'm absolutely delighted that Kenwyne has committed to the club for the long term.

"He's young with a great future ahead of him and has already proven himself to be a key player for us.

"The fact that we've had interest from top clubs shows how much of an asset he is and it's fantastic that he will be a Sunderland player for many years to come."

Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn added: "We are building a team for the long term and Kenwyne is a big part of that.

"In signing this new deal he's shown that he wants to be part of our future and believes in what Ricky and the club are doing.

"In the current economic climate, the figures bandied about for Kenwyne have been staggering, but we have shown our intent to build a bigger and better club for the future by retaining our best players."

Jones arrived at Sunderland in the summer of 2007 in a £6m switch from Southampton as then manager Roy Keane added physical presence to his frontline for the challenge of life in the Barclays Premier League.

He finished his first season with seven goals, but contributed much, much more, prompting the Irishman to venture the opinion that he was worth as much as £40m.

The Black Cats were dealt a huge blow in June when Jones damaged knee ligaments in a clash with England goalkeeper David James during a friendly in Port of Spain.

He made his first appearance for the club this term as a substitute in the 2-1 derby victory over Newcastle on October 25 and has scored seven goals since in partnership with Djibril Cisse.

Jones has found himself in the headlines in recent weeks with Tottenham having mounted a concerted effort to attract him to White Hart Lane.

Sunderland rejected at least one bid from the Londoners, with reports suggesting they had offered £6million plus Darren Bent.

Sbragia, who replaced Keane in December, repeatedly insisted he wanted to keep Jones and said he would rather walk out of the club than sell his better players.

He also hit out at Spurs' tactics in trying to prise him away from Wearside, although Tottenham counterpart Harry Redknapp today mounted a robust defence of his club.

Jones, welcoming his new deal, told Sky Sports News: "The chairman and the manager wanted me to stay and I was very happy to stay.

"The club is taking a new direction and I wanted to be part of that.

"I know what Ricky is about and what he wants to do. He has big plans for the club to take it to the next step and hopefully, in the next couple of seasons, that could happen.

"If you look at the fan base and the facilities that should tell you this is a big club and hopefully this is the start of something great."

Jones admitted he was relieved that his future had been resolved after all the recent speculation.

"The speculation unsettles the football club but now everyone can concentrate on getting results," he added.